Androcentric Features in the French Language

Tyumen State University Herald. Humanities Research. Humanitates


2018, Vol. 4. №3

Androcentric Features in the French Language

For citation: Karandina P. M., Lykova N. N. 2018. “Androcentric Features in the French Language”. Tyumen State University Herald. Humanities Research. Humanitates, vol. 4, no 3, pp. 26-39. DOI: 10.21684/2411-197X-2018-4-3-26-39

About the authors:

Polina M. Karandina, Assistant, Department of French Philology, University of Tyumen;

Nadezhda N. Lykova, Dr. Sci. (Philol.), Professor, Department of French Philology, University of Tyumen;


The development of gender linguistics, as one of the promising areas of modern linguistics, was significantly influenced by the concept of androcentricity, understood as the gender asymmetry of language. This article aims to identify the specific features of androcentrism in modern French culture an language. The research relevance is predetermined, on the one hand, by the close attention of linguistics to the identification of linguistic sexism and, on the other hand, by the lack of study of this area in the French language.

This article attempts to reveal the level of androcentrism according to the criteria formulated by feminist linguistics. The authors consider two signs of a language’s androcentricity: 1) identification of the concepts “male” and “person”, and 2) pejorative character of the feminine forms. The study is carried out upon the material from the phraseological dictionary of the French language and from the guide to the feminization of professional names in France. During the research, the authors have employed a method of semantic analysis, a definitional analysis, and a method of quantitative calculations.

The analysis of phraseological units with a lexeme “homme” is carried out, the meanings “male” and “person” were defined in order to reveal the degree of androcentricity in the French phraseology. It is generally believed that gender asymmetry is most clearly manifested in the name of people, and forms of the feminine gender often acquire a pejorative connotation. The results show that for the designation of persons of any gender, masculine forms are preferable. However, in the French language, there is a trend for feminization in the nomination of professions, gender neologisms appear and exist, and the revealed cases demonstrate a smaller degree of pejorative character in feminine gender. The analysis allows discussing the uneven representation of the analyzed features of androcentricity in modern French.


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